Published On: May 24th, 2018

In the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Northwoods League had a record setting draft which included five 1st round picks, led by three pitchers from the 2014 Waterloo Bucks team. A total of 179 current Northwoods League players and alumni were selected in that year’s draft. Growth in the draft continued for the 2107 season as 181 current and former players were picked.

“The draft is always an exciting indicator of talent, and the evidence continues to grow that the Northwoods League is attracting the finest amateur baseball players,” said Northwoods League President, Gary Hoover at the time.  “This is a tribute to our model and our teams.  We can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”

The highest pick in the 2016 draft was A.J. Puk, a junior left-handed pitcher from Florida. Puk was picked in the 1st round by the Oakland Athletics with the 6th overall pick. Puk played as both a pitcher and infielder with the Waterloo Bucks in 2014.  A Cedar Rapids, Iowa native, Puk appeared in two games, starting both and earned a 2.08 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 8.2 innings pitched for Waterloo. At the plate, Puk played in 11 games, hitting .227 with two doubles and three RBI. Puk is currently on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery this Spring. He was having a tremendous Spring Training while vying for the Athletics fifth rotation spot before the injury.

With the 27th overall pick, the Baltimore Orioles selected right-handed pitcher Cody Sedlock. A product of the University of Illinois, Sedlock played with the Bucks in 2014, finishing with the ninth best ERA in the NWL with a 3.27 mark.  In addition, the Sherrard, Illinois native tied for the League lead in starts with 13 and finished the year with a 5-3 record.  Sedlock struck out 53 while walking just 29. Sedlock is currently in Hi-A with the Frederick Keys of the Carolina League.

The third former Buck selected in the first round was right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning who was taken by the Washington Nationals with the 29th overall pick.  Dunning played with Waterloo in 2014, finishing with a 3-3 record and a 3.14 ERA.  In 43 innings pitched, the Fleming Island, Florida native struck out 39 and held batters to a .239 average. Dunning, who is now in the White Sox organization, is in the AA Southern League with the Birmingham Barons.

Here is the complete list of NWL 1st Round picks for 2016:

6 OAK A.J. Puk Florida LHP  L/L  JR Waterloo  2014
16 LAA Matt Thaiss Virginia C L/R JR Madison 2014
22 PIT Will Craig Wake Forest 3B R/R JR St. Cloud 2014
27 BAL Cody Sedlock Illinois RHP R/R JR Waterloo 2014
29 WAS Dane Dunning Florida RHP R/R JR Waterloo 2014









Visit our 25th Season Celebration page to read about other memorable moments previously released.






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